Septicflesh - Communion (2008)Release ID: 2557

Septicflesh - Communion (2008) Cover
Rexorcist Rexorcist / January 10, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

I avoided Septicflesh for a long time during my early days in discovering music because my Christian behavior was more fear-oriented at the time.  These days I'm less and less afraid and don't really treat these things as things that'll kill me.  Thing is, I never really got into "symphonic death metal" as a thing, so I ignored these guys and Fleshgod Apocalypse for a while.  Now I'm slowly getting back into metal and music thanks to a whole new year of albums ahead of us: 2024, the last year of the first half of this decade.  Hell, Ryan Adams gave us four new studio albums on New Years. 

This is my first Septicflesh album, and I knew they made a point of diversity since their early days from the genre tagging of their debut on RYM.  But seeing this one only tagged as "symphonic metal and death metal" made me weary about the possibility of this being another monotone and potentially overrated album.  But if there's gonna be a genre passed around called "symphonic death metal," then I'm gonna explore it.  And thankfully, this album gave me everything I could ask for.

This whole album is about as unpredictable as an art film, but it never once breaks the character the band gives this release.  We have moments that are just brutal, murderous and terrifying to an otherworldly extreme, such as on the title track, but we also have room for some of that Children of God mindfuckery, like the progressive violin interludes on Persepolis.  We even have some of that Nile-style mysticism on Anubis, which favors atmosphere over death heaviness, but transitions effortlessly from the edgy opener.  "We the Gods' is practically a black death hybrid, something that was amiss on this album despite the variety.  But the real clincher here is its progginess and catchiness.  And Sunlight/Moonlight has a slower, higher and more melodic sound which might have the feel of the album fully intact thanks to its unpredictability, but also sounds like something off of Dark Tranquility's Damage Done, except better.  The same foes for our closer, Narcissus, although it's much catchier.  And let's take Sangreal's deathcore breakdown paired with the rhythmic melody that between two instruments starts out in the background and switches to the front before switching to the vocalists taking turns.  Brilliant usage of simplicity and quirkiness.  Brilliant.

On top of this, we have two different singers switching between one impressively deep vocalist and another with clearer and higher-pitched singing, both of which bring out the best of the songs they sing.  This can be compared to the works of System of a Down with their singers, and both singers are absolutely perfect, and is most blatantly present on Sunlight/Moonlight.  Seth Siro Anton might have the best death metal voice I've ever heard.

About our title track... I just gotta say it... that vocal riff?

It's the Meow Mix theme song.  It's literally the fucking Meow Mix theme song with maybe a slightly higher pitch in note at the end.  But I don't really know if I can take off points for that, because as much as I don't want to say this, the riff works perfectly with the song, and it doesn't change the fact that this album is still giving me everything I asked for.

Septicflesh boasted a level of creativity that I beg for every time I hear an album, especially in genres loaded with posers.  And boy, is metal full of them.  But Septicflesh are anything but.  They are composers of the highest metallic form and have committed the rare achievement of perfecting symphonic metal, overcoming it cheese and relying on whatever menace may be found in traditional classical or even movie soundtracks.  This album switches between the lighter influences of prog, doom, black with just enough behavior to incorporate into a different type of death metal song.  In fact, in essence they're like the death metal band I myself would form if I wanted to form one: cover a couple loosely connected genres with even balance while incorporating other influences and a couple singers.  Although, even if I did, what are the chances I'd be as good at it as Septicflesh?


Release info

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Symphonic Death Metal

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#16 in Rexorcist Top 20 Releases